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Hand Strength and Fitness

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by cometazzi, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have tendonitis (like so many), and while I don't get the pain so much the big issues I get are fretting hand fatigue, weakness and lack of dexterity. It comes and goes (depending on if something has exacerbated it).

    Some years ago, my job was more physical, and I noticed on days where I did stuff like stacking servers or printers a bunch, I could come home and just SHRED the guitar. Somehow the strenuous activity 'pumped up' my hand/forearm muscles and my fretting hand was stronger, didn't tire and I had great dexterity. Only lasted that day. I'd wake up the next morning and everything would be back to how it was.

    Short of keeping a couple of pallets of printers or servers in my living room for a daily stacking regimen, any suggestions on how I could build hand strength and keep them fit?

    What do you guys do to keep your hands in shape?
     
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  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Brother, check your insurance and see if it covers physical therapy. Tendons and ligaments are easy to damage, take forever to heal. Hands take a beating, but guitar requires finesse.
    My Dad was a former boxer who was a bricklayer by trade. He had really big strong hands and very big forearms. By middle age, his hands were badly damaged. He could do finish carpentry, and type, things like that, but his hands hurt and the fingers would seize up and lock. My buddy, also with big strong hands, was a heavy equipment operator ... sometimes he had to break out the pick and shovel ... he's a good guitar player. But, he needed carpal tunnel procedures in both hands. They are not the same as before the surgeries.
    I inherited strong hands, but beat them up doing Karate. My tendons have sustained severe damage... not all of it ever heals. If you want to exercise and strengthen your hands for guitar, consult a therapist, because repetitive use can cause irreparable injury.
     
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  3. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Friend of Leo's

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    Besides playing guitar a lot I own an auto rebuilding business and an Aircraft parts business. I get plenty of exercise, and an occasional cortisone shot for tendinitis
     
  4. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I should have noted that I've had tendonitis for 24 years or so. It's not a new phenomenon, and it is (miraculously) not painful.

    I'm also not a big strong guy. Underneath a bit of flab I'm a small-framed, short and smallish dude.
     
  5. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    I also have tendonitis in my elbows, and have broken both wrists. I started taking Osteo Biflex triple strength a couple weeks ago and it has made a very noticeable improvement with both. Especially my wrists. By reducing inflamation my tendons ar no longer hanging up and popping and cracking anything like they have for years. It's affordable and available at most any drugstore. Only costs about $16 for over a month supply.

    Edit to add: My knees and back are also feeling better. Man it's rough getting old. I recommend y'all not do it.
     
  6. cigarman513

    cigarman513 Tele-Meister

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    I'm construction, hobby blacksmith and workout a lot.. I've been focusing on grip training the last year, I add reps slowly... I've been doing sledgehammer levering, look it up.. Some days my hands get very sore and it sucks at work, but most days my hands feel great.. Stretching and massaging is very important.
     
  7. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    When I first got back into some heavier playing last spring I decided to purchase a D'Addario finger strengthener/hand exerciser off Amazon. I absolutely swear by it. I try to use it every day. And I try to use it 15 minutes before I sit down and jam. It is not placebo effect, it truly helps.
     
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  8. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    Best thing is simply washing dishes by hand.

    The warm water helps with the pain and the manipulations help rebuild strength. I have had a several boxer's fractures in my day and that was always the physical therapy suggested along with squeezing globs of play doh.
     
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  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Everyone's hands are different enough, and our "other" activities are also different enough, that I've come to think, you cannot really make recommendations in such cases. My hands are in better shape (from cutting wood, light construction, car repairs) than they were when I joined here. But for the next guy, this could be a recipe for disaster.

    I think switching to fatter section necks helped a lot, but now I'm to the point I'd just suggest to people it might help - it might not. Maybe a lot less whitewater kayaking and sketchy mountain biking helped me more.
     
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  10. 2GoneDE

    2GoneDE TDPRI Member

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    I had tendonitis pretty bad in my brachioradialis (elbow/forearm) a couple years and went on weeks of searching the internet for a remedy. I am an RN in a hospital so I have access to a lot medical journal databases and Physical Therapy doctors, and thus I picked brains.

    I feel I resolved the problem using a plethora of remedies.
    Stretching
    Ibuprofen before playing
    Ice after playing
    Massage perpendicular to the muscle and friction massage
    Flossing (Crossfit) seems crazy...but totally helped

    .....then I did this skateboarding...and hyperextended my elbow badly.
    I couldn't lift 10 pounds.
    1611202883854_20210120_201844.jpg

    So I bought a TENS device on Amazon....changed the game completely.
    I has worked wonders. I am back to "normal" after 8 months.
    I use the TENS daily for strength in spots that are hard to isolate.
     
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  11. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I would offer a totally different take. First of all, how old are you? When was your last physical with complete blood work-up? What you describe could be caused by an electrolyte imbalance or blood dyscrasia. Do you ever get muscle cramps? Overall fatigue? Soreness after strenuous activity? Ever notice numbness? Any tremor? Swelling in joints?
     
  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have been doing stuff with my hands daily for most of my life. What I have learned is that whatever you are doing repetitively lately to provoke an increase pain in the hands ... stop! You must let it heal. Not an easy thing to do sometimes, but these issues do seem to heal "enough" to go on without dilbilitating pain. The other avenue is not always successful, so think about what you are doing to your body.
     
  13. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    I bought something like this years ago before a guitarless holiday.
    gripmaster@2x.png
    I probably overdid it, but got as close to tendinitis as I've ever been. Take care!
     
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  14. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    If exercise is an option (always check with a professional) I’d recommend a gripper like this of some sort

    Or depending how strong you are get a couple 5 to 15 pound plates and you can “practice” gripping them ,one in each hand pinched between your thumb and fingers and see how long you can hold them, I’ve never tried this one so don’t know how effective it really is
     
  15. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    This has reminded me of when I was taking cello lessons. My teacher had me do an exercise every practice session that involved fingering as lightly as possible while maintaining a clear note. She stressed accuracy, flexibility (stretchability) and stamina over strength, lessons I still try to practice, especially on bass.
     
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  16. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never been a gym person and moved from blue collar to IT decades ago so outdoor sports help. Trail building and grooming gets stuff bike riding and skiing do not. More recently I've used online resources to add yoga and other fitness tips. Bits of stretching with more thought to it help.

    Also, the nudge aspect of Apple Watch or a Fitbit help a lot. When my Apple Watch reminds me to move during my work day I take hourly few to 7 minuted breaks trying to do range of motion in that break.

    For context, I'm in my early 60s. This isn't any record setting stuff. After a shoulder injury late 2019 I worked my way back to average or better for age and pushups. The pushups work the hands too.
     
  17. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I use the regular old grip strengtheners (available at any sporting goods or sporting dept)...usually between weight sets...3-4 sets of 51 reps with each hand.
     
  18. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Switch sides? My right is getting a bit too bulked up. ;D
     
  19. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I do this a few times a week:

     
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